My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Archives for July 2015

Immediate Gratification

Sometimes I like being able to whip out a small project quickly. While I do love knitting large complex things, I am also a fan of immediate gratification.



This little cat is knit from one of Julie Williams’ brilliant new patterns. She just published patterns for a girl cat and a boy cat.

I decided to make a tuxedo cat. I made my kitty as directed but made his feet white as well. In retrospect, it occurs to me that I should have given him a white tummy as well, but he is pretty cute with his black tummy.

I made him a little bow tie: using a 2mm needle, I cast on 7 stitches in fingering weight wool and knit in stockinette stitch until the piece was a bit ore than 2” long. I bound off, then with the knit side outward, I sewed the cast-on edge to the bound-off edge to make a little circle. I flattened the circle with the bound off edge in the center, and used the yarn ends from the cast-on and bind-off to wrap around the middle of the piece, making the “knot” in the middle of the bow tie. I tied the bow tie onto a black hair elastic and slipped it over the kitty’s head, doubling the elastic for a snug but not-too-tight fit around his neck.

Loki checks out the little interloper:



I finished my July project for Camp Loopy the other night. Here it is, hastily laid out on the floor while Loki was looking the other way:


And here it is, modeled.


Gotta go. It is time to start the laundry — my little helper is waiting!


So Near and Yet So Far

Don’t you hate when this happens?


That’s the end of my Lavena Shawl and that’s how much yarn is left. To finish it off you decrease 1 stitch every 4 rows, so you can see that I am close.

The pattern calls for approximately 560 yards of the main color (although on the Ravelry page it states 590 yards). I purchased 650 yards to be on the safe side. But clearly, not safe enough!

No gauge was given for the pattern, which I find a bit odd. It’s a shawl, but still, it’s nice to know the ballpark gauge. On the pattern the finished dimensions are listed as approximately 24″ high and 79″ wide, while on the Ravelry page the finished dimensions are listed as approximately 39.5” high and 79” wide. That’s kind of a big difference. I measured mine: 26″ high and 78″ wide.

The pattern called for U.S. size 2 and 3 needles, but I went up a needle size because that seemed too tight. I used a size 3 on the plain sections and a size 4 on the mosaic sections and liked the results. And my shawl is within the two sizes listed for the shawl. So the bottom line is that I should have had enough yarn.

I do have some black Kauni in my stash that looks to be a pretty close match, dyelot-wise, so I can finish the shawl. But if you are planning on knitting Lavena, be forewarned — you may need more yarn than the pattern says.

On the whole, the pattern was no problem to follow — just a couple of small errors that are easily overcome by using common sense.

The Loki Report

When Loki has had enough of my and my knitting, he retreats to the top of a dresser for the night:


He sleeps there every night, but will descend once or twice a night to wake me up for snuggles. This is not great for me in my quest to get as much sleep as possible on weeknights given how early I get up in the morning, but it is impossible for me to ignore a warm purring kitty who wants to snuggle. Life is a series of trade-offs, and this is one I am more than willing to make.

By the way, if you stop by here for the photos of Loki, you can get more Loki pix by following me on Instagram.

Three-Day Weekend

First of all, congratulations to Beth, who was chosen as the winner of my review copy of  Warm Days, Cool Knits: Lighter Designs for Every Season by Corrina Ferguson. Beth has been emailed.

It’s Day Three of a three-day weekend here in the U.S. and three-day weekends are really good for knitting progress!Here is my progress on my Camp Loopy July project.


The colorwork is mosaic knitting, so you are only ever knitting with one color at a time, and slipping the stitches in the second color. Colorwork plus a gradient  yarn translates into big entertainment in knitting for me, hence the good progress!


My little helper is pretty tired today, but he is sticking close by!


Warm Days, Cool Knits

I have in my hands a review copy of this lovely book:

Warm Days, Cool Knits - jacket art

This is Warm Days, Cool Knits: Lighter Designs for Every Season by Corrina Ferguson (Interweave/F+W; $24.99) and it is available now from Interweave  (linked from the title, above) and wherever knitting books are sold.

As the title suggests, there are patterns for warmer climates and seasons. As a middle-aged woman with little ability to regulate body temperature, I welcome these designs! You can view all 20 patterns here on Ravelry.

This pattern collection is a nice mix of cardigans, short-sleeve pullovers, tanks, wraps, a hat, and a pair of socks. My favorites:

First of all, the cover design, Leora Tank. It is made from Shibui Knits Linen, a lovely fingering weight linen yarn (and I happen to have some in dark blue in my stash). This design features a sweet lace insert on the sides:


The pattern is written for 5 sizes, from 35″ to 51″.

Nest up, the Denford Cardigan:


I am a sucker for cables and latticework and this design fits the bill nicely. It is knit from DK weight yarn — you could use wool for a warmer outwear sweater, or a cotton blend for a lighter option. It’s written for 4 sizes, 36″ to 60″.

And how clever is this? Zolena is a pullover/cowl set.


Knit in sportweight for the body and fingering weight for the cuffs and cowl, you could use wool or cotton or bamboo or . . . any other sportweight fiber or blend of fibers. You can make a cotton sweater and trim with wool. For cooler days, wear the warm cowl. On warmer days, leave it off. This pattern is also in a nice range of sizes: 5 sizes from 34.25″ — 50.25″.

And I love the Wiley Wrap!


It’s an interesting shape — 5/8th of a circle. And fairly simple to knit. It is shown worked in two color stripes, but you could certainly work it in a solid color as well. It is worked from fingering weight yarn so that gives you a wide variety of yarns to choose from.

This is a great collection for women of a certain age (like em) who have trouble regulating body temperature, anyone who lives in a warm climate, or heck, anybody — knit in wool and wool blends, these knits would be great in colder climes!

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in the drawing to receive my copy, leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern Time on Sunday, July 5, 2015. I’ll pick a winner at random at that time.

We have a holiday weekend coming up! My bunny girls are ready:


And today is July 1: that means I can start knitting my Camp Loopy project #2 tonight. My yarn is ready to go:


I am making Lavena, a lovely wrap pattern designed by Christiane Burkhard. I am using Kauni yarns: 8/2 Effektgarn in colorway “EK,” the gradient greens, and 8/2 solid in colorway “CC,” black. I think this is going to be a very fun knit!

Meanwhile, Loki is striking amusing poses to entertain me: